Digital File and Film Specs
We deal with many different printing technologies and there are different requirements for each. If needed you can supply us with your best-quality source material and let us optimize for each output format. There are a lot of very technical details, so if needed, we are also available to help you - especially the artist, entrepreneur or small business without a design department - in managing all your printing and design coordination. We can help you maintain a professional print quality in all your printed material instead of you spending dozens of hours learning graphic design and prepress instead of working on your craft!
Failure to follow recommendations may cause a delay in your job or result in less-than-optimum results
In all cases it is recommended you send a hardcopy print or mockup of how the final product should look, and indicate if your proof is colour-accurate.
Offset printing on paper (CD and cassette inserts, posters, etc):
- PDF/X-1A PDF files or CMYK TIF files are required
- DO NOT supply PDFs generated by Photoshop. The preferred program for generating press-ready PDFs is Adobe InDesign.
- Color profile suggested: US Web Coated (SWOP) V2
- Files are usually imaged direct to plate so films are not required
- Maximum recommended ink density: 280% to 300%
- You will not get a rich one color black. For a rich black use something like 100K 60C 50Y 50M.
- 4-color CMYK process printing is standard. PMS colors are printed as 5th color at additional cost
Films for silkscreening on CD: See this other page
Films and art for pad printing:
Pad printing plates are laser etched. We can make plates the traditional way using film positives at additional cost.
- film positives
- emulsion down
- text and line art only
- avoid fine lines and large solid areas, and especially both at the same time
- see more info here
Art for offset printing on CD or DVD:
- 23mm to 116mm print area
- 175 line screen
- 1/4 point trapping
- elliptical dots
- maximum black: 250%
- Due to the printing method, most offset disc presses are not capable of printing a rich black. We suggest to use silkscreening for very rich colours.
- CDs are not metallized all the way to the center of the disc so there is a slight depression inside 38mm diameter - therefore the offset print may appear faded inside this area. We recommend not to print inside 38mm on CDs (this is not an issue on DVDs).
Laser print on paper
- If we can open it we can print it! However for best quality, normal requirements apply...
- We suggest you make sure all your artwork is at least 300 dots per inch resolution at the printing size. For example a CD cover should be about 1500 pixels wide and high.
- Include 1/8 inch bleed.
Inkjet photo printing on disc
- An RGB TIF or JPEG at 300 dpi is ideal. If you have very fine text or line art, export from your design program at 450 or 600 dpi. For a photo print 300 dpi is usually fine.
- Do not use solid black (0,0,0) . We recommend something around 15R, 15G, 15B as the darkest colour.
- To keep the price low we do not include professional prepress and proofing with quick-printing on disc. Send native design files as backup in case we have to change something.
- Print area varies depending on chosen media. Typically we use 22 to 118 mm
- Art with extreme 100% color printing may be subject to extra charge (for example a solid 100% flood background)
- Solid floods and tints may show some banding.
Inkjet text-and-logo printing on disc
- An RGB TIF or JPEG at 300 dpi is ideal.
- Use a white background and 118 mm image size
- Do not supply CMYK files or native design files for inkjet print. To keep the price low we do not include professional prepress and proofing with quick-printing on disc.
- Print area varies depending on chosen media. Typically we use 22 to 118 mm diameter.
- Art with more than 25% ink density or vertical coverage may be subject to extra charge or revision (for example circular text all around the disc on a 24-hour rush 1000 piece order won't work due to the long time required to print)
Monochrome thermal print on disc
- Common colours are black, red, green, and blue.
- An RGB or grayscale TIF or JPEG at 300 dpi is ideal. RGB images will be converted to grayscale by the printer.
- Use a white background and do not design past 114 mm image size
- Do not supply CMYK files or native design files for thermal print. To keep the price low we do not include professional prepress and proofing with quick-printing on disc.
- Print area is 40mm to 114 mm.
- Art with more than 25% vertical coverage may be subject to extra charge or revision (for example circular text all around the disc on a 24-hour rush 1000 piece order won't work due to the long time required to print)